From Ho Chi Minh City we took a night bus to Nha Trang. It seemed like a good way to save on accommodation cost and time and I do recommend it. The bus was cosy and I woke up in the early morning in Nha Trang.
We had a company of two puppies in the bus. They didn’t make a sound throughout the whole journey and looked soooo cute, imagine this in Europe!
Anyway when we got to Nha Trang we were hungry, mad and tired. We left the tauters behind and walked to one of the first hotels away from what we thought was main tourist area. There was marble on the floors and decorations that made us believe we can expect similar standard like we had in Ho Chi Minh. The price was $5 for a room without air-conditioning and $1 additionally to get it working. We had a look at the room and took it. Until today I don’t know what we were thinking. I can honestly say it was the worst room I have ever rented. It was dump. Everything including bedding was damp. We had a window that open on the corridor where the air-conditioning was throwing out the warm air from all rooms next to the corridor. It would even shut properly. The bathroom was a wet room with no ventilation everything in very socialistic style. I thought I has some pictures of it, but can’t find them.
Anyway, after a short nap we decided to wander around and visit Lam Son Pagoda famous for the Giant Seated Buddha. It was established to honour the monks and nuns who died demonstrating against Diem government. To see the statue you have to climb stairs which in the heat can be very demanding, but it’s so worth the effort. Besides the giant Buddha you can see beautiful panorama of Nha Trang and surrounding hills.
During the rest of the day we hired some sun beds under the straw umbrellas where constantly somebody was offering us something to buy. It was very annoying after a while, also quite boring to lie there and go to the water after a while. I don’t think we got our money worth from this. Later on we decided to book a snorkelling trip for the following day. We also bought some local rum and cans of coke (low on budget) and sat down on the beach to watch beautiful sunset and teenagers seating next to bonfire. Yes bone fire on the beach, so close to a dream that still remains unfulfilled.
The snorkelling trip was stunning for P. – it was his first time and he absolutely loved it. We spend more than half day on a boat and in the water observing reefs. When we came back we decided to spoil ourselves a bit and visited Nhà hàng bia tươi Louisiane. Looks stunning and the prices tell you it’s luxurious. We had to wait around for another night bus and started to feel really bad. I suppose it was the combination of rum, sunstroke, flu and fatigue.
I remember we lied down on the towels in the sun and covered ourselves with whatever we had on us from the snorkelling trip and felt really, really cold. The wind was terrible. I covered my head with the straw hat I bought in Saigon and fell asleep. We welcomed the bus arrival with relief, at least until we got inside. It was much less comfortable and we got our seats under the air conditioning that could not be turned off. Well ok, P. got. He stayed there for something like 5mins and as he felt worse than I did we switched places. He took blankets from all the surrounding seats and wrapped himself so I could only see his blue mouth mask and sunglasses. It was a hard night. Every bone and muscle could feel every single bump on the hip-hop highway and endless interruption in our sleep made me even more exhausted. It felt like endless centuries of waking up, trying to make myself comfortable and falling back to sleep. When we got to Hoi An I knew it was time to slow down and rest.